Have a need for speed? How to secure financing in just a few days.
How fast are quick car loans?
Rather than a turnaround that takes a week or two to process, a quick car loan only takes a few days after filling out the application to receive your funds. This can be especially helpful when you’re looking to lock in a special promotion at the dealership — having your finances ready to go will give your seller a sense of urgency. Meanwhile, you’ll have an extra tool that can help you negotiate the right price for your car.
Quick car loans are comparable to regular car loans in terms of interest rates, loan terms and how much you can borrow.
Compare quick car loans
How can I speed up the car loan application process?
From having your documents on hand to having your car picked out before you apply, here are a few tips for speeding up the application process:
- Compare your loan options first. This will keep you from wasting time and applying for loans you’re not eligible for.
- Apply for preapproval. This allows you to see what rates and terms you might qualify for before filling out an entire application.
- Know what you want to buy. If you’ve already picked out a car and can provide the make, model and VIN, your lender will be able to process your application much faster. Most don’t require this for preapproval, but already knowing it means you won’t have to spend time shopping after you’re preapproved.
- Have your documents ready to go. Once you know what documents your lender requires — usually proof of income, employment and citizenship — you can have them on hand to make entering the required information easier.
Can preapproval help me get my car faster?
Yes. When you apply for preapproval, you’ll receive a ballpark estimate of how much you can borrow as well as what rates and terms you might qualify for. The form usually only takes 10 or 15 minutes to fill out, and you typically receive a response within a few minutes. Most lenders ask you to provide the same information as if you were completing a full application, including details about your income, assets, liabilities and living expenses.
If approved, your lender should give you a buying period to select your car. Most cap it at 30 days, although some offer extended periods. Not only does this make the buying process easier since you’ll have a handy negotiating tool, but it also makes the loan process faster since you’ll only need to submit information about your car in order to complete the full application.
5 pitfalls to avoid with quick car loans
A car loan with a fast turnaround can be handy when you’re in a pinch, but it can come at a cost. Not every lender is legit, and not every loan will be right for you. Here are some pitfalls to avoid when on the hunt for a quick car loan:
- Same-day guarantees. Few online lenders are able to both approve and fund your loan all in the same day. If you come across lenders offering same-day guarantees, it may be a sign of a car loan scam.
- Taking on too much debt. It’s handy to be preapproved for a car loan before you shop, but you’ll still want to build a budget and calculate potential monthly payments to avoid overspending. Most experts recommend dedicating no more than 15% of your budget to car costs, including loan repayments, maintenance costs and insurance premiums.
- Applying for multiple loans. Applying for preapproval generally won’t impact your credit score since lenders only do a soft pull. But processing a full application requires lenders to do a hard credit pull, which can lower your score. Applying for too many loans can cause your number to drop even more.
- Not working out the full cost. Don’t be fooled by low rates or fees. Calculate the total cost of a loan before comparing it with other options. Loans that have higher fees but slightly lower interest rates can work out cheaper in the long run, but the opposite is also true.
- Not comparing options. A car loan may be quick, but that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Compare loans using the guide below to be sure you’re making the right decision.
How can I compare my quick car loan options?
Because quick car loans are the same as standard car loans, you can use the same criteria to compare them as you would any loan. Since not every lender offers the same features, judge each one on an individual basis and weigh which features matter most to you before making a final decision.
- Funding time. The most important feature of any lender when you’re looking for a quick car loan is its funding time. How long will it take to process your application? How long until you’re able to use your funds to buy a car?
- Loan amount. How much money will you need to borrow? The loan amount your lender offers may have an impact on the features you can add to your car, and some lenders may not offer larger loan amounts for certain types of vehicles. When you’re looking for a quick car loan, be sure the lender is actually able to fund the loan you need before you apply.
- Loan terms. Terms generally range from one to seven years for new vehicles, though some lenders offer terms of eight years for larger loan amounts. Used vehicles have similar terms, though the older your chosen car, the shorter your loan term might be.
- Interest rates. Car loans can come with fixed or variable interest rates. Fixed rates stay the same throughout the life of your loan, while variable rates can fluctuate based on trends in the lending market.
- Fees. Most lenders charge a few different fees during the borrowing process. Many have origination, application and closing fees, as well as prepayment penalties if you pay back your loan early. Compare APRs to see how fees impact the total cost of your loan.
Many online lenders offer preapproval and funding in as little as a few days. These quick car loans can be helpful when you’re in a pinch and may not cost you more if you have good to excellent credit. But don’t settle for the first offer you find. Even when you’re in a hurry, compare your car loan options first to ensure you’re getting the best deal out there.
Frequently asked questions